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Ben Franklin Venture Idol (& PAN Luncheon)

November 8th Event Also Features a High-Stakes Deal Making Simulation

Ben Franklin Venture Idol is a cross between Shark Tank® and American Idol® that illustrates a significant way in which entrepreneurs obtain seed capital for their early-stage firms. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania will host its annual Ben Franklin Venture Idol on Thursday evening, November 8.

After earning their way through a round of judging in the afternoon prior to the evening event, three start-up technology entrepreneurs seeking funding will be selected to present at Venture Idol. Following short critiques from a panel of investors, the audience members will “fund” the companies. With $100 of “Ben Bucks,” each guest will distribute his or her “investment dollars” in whole or part among the three finalists. Ben Franklin will award $15,000 in real dollars to the companies based on the audience vote.

At this year’s Venture Idol, the keynote presentation will be a negotiation simulation. A common impression among viewers of Shark Tank is that if an agreement is reached during the program’s negotiations, it will be executed on those terms. Actually, only 27% of the “deals” on-air happen at the agreed-upon terms. Investment banker and Lehigh University professor, Dale Falcinelli, will facilitate a “deal negotiation” between investor, Doug Petillo, General Partner, Leading Edge Venturesand founder, Michael Stocker, CEO, Only Sky Inc.

  • PA Angel Network In-Person Meeting & Lunch, 11:45am - 1:45pm

PAN will be having an in-person meeting before the BFTP NE Venture Idol
Event <>
on Thursday November 8th, 11:45 am to 1:45 pm.  Lunch will be provided and
sponsored by J.P. Morgan
<> .  Meeting will be
held at the Ben Franklin TechVentures facility located at 116 Research
Drive, Lehigh University Mountaintop Campus, Bethlehem, PA 18015.   This
will be a great opportunity to network, discuss deal flow, best practices,
trends, resources, etc.  If you have a topic that you would like have on the
agenda please let me know.   
Please RSVP to STEVIE by Tuesday October 30th if you or someone from your group will be able to attend the PAN portion of the events.

  • Ben Franklin Venture Idol: Thursday evening, November 8, 2018

Networking – 5:30 pm

Program – 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Ben Franklin TechVentures, 116 Research Drive, Bethlehem


  • Investor Panelists: 

Dr. Clark DeHaven, SoundBoard Angel Fund
Mark Kramer, Private Investors Forum
Liz Sigety, Delaware Crossing Investor Group
Brett Topche, Red and Blue Ventures

Company contestants were selected competitively. The 2018 Ben Franklin Venture Idol competitors are listed at

  • Ben Franklin Venture Idol registration is available to the public at — $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the event.

Earlier Event: November 7
NAF Member Meeting
Later Event: November 15
NAF Screening Meeting